Fiction

The Up-Naming of the One-Bloods

This is a true fictitious history related to me by Tom Bagley of Daybreak, who was named “Wind Trapper” by the Great Majesty. It is the first time I have ever made this account public concerning the people known to me as the One-Bloods, how they lost their true names, and how some recovered their right and proper names again due to a miraculous event known among them as “Up-Naming.” Is this story true? You decide.

The Origin of the One-Bloods

In the beginning the Great Majesty spoke all things into being, starting with the instruments of light. Sun, moon, and stars lightened the dry land, and the winds lifted it out of the dark, roaring waves. All else came forth after that: sky, water, clouds, air, and lastly fire. After these proceeded all living creatures, lastly the One-Bloods. They alone were given powers of discernment to know and name the other creatures according to the essence and purpose for which they were created.

The One-Bloods loved every plant and animal they named and turned the land into a garden for every living creature to enjoy.  And then something changed. The One-Bloods, who had been the most beautiful creatures on earth, became proud of their own beauty so that they began placing mirrors throughout the garden. Completely forgetting the Great Majesty, they forgot what they were about altogether so that the garden became a thorny haunt. All the animals became terrified and escaped into the wilderness. After that, the One-Bloods began to covet, not fire — as legends have claimed — but rather the very glory of the Great Majesty instead of their own. The more they stole of this glory, the more the darkness of evil pervaded their midst so that the light they once knew passed mostly out of all memory.

Basotxerri, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

After their tribes had crossed over the Marble Mountains and lost the way back from whence they had come, one of the ancient elders planted a tree that remained standing until the latter days of their time. It grew so large and its roots went so deep that it became a symbol of the spirit and conscience of the One-Bloods. That is to say, that it represented something they all felt and sensed but could never possess. Their dreams often spilled forth strange language they could not understand and troubled them deeply.

Whereas they had once been clothed by the light of the Great Majesty; now they stumbled about naked. Because they could no longer hear the Voice, they consoled themselves by elevating the Silence for its own sake and took great spiritual pride in hearing nothing. Only a memory remained of something they came to call the “Great Sacred,” which they gave forth to be an ineffable, inscrutable, and unknowable mystery. A few interposed themselves as keepers of the mystery, uniting sky and earth in service to the One-Bloods. Certain chieftains came into pre-eminence as well, demanding that other One-Bloods gather themselves into tribal kingdoms.

Tatoos, Masks, and Mis-Naming

Capitoline Museums, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The One-Bloods began decorating themselves with tattoos; the wearing of masks and clothing came to designate established places in the social order. The masks they wore and the names their parents had given them departed from the reality behind their faces, though. And so, whatever was named after the crossing of the Marble Mountains was actually mis-named, for the One-Bloods had lost their discernment of the true nature and purpose of all creatures including themselves.

In later ages, stories arose concerning private experiences in what came to be known as “Up-Naming.” Certain persons began receiving Up-Namings in the aftermath of some personal crisis that had ripped away all self-delusion and disguises. A few individuals began to hear once more the soft, sweet voice of the Great Majesty whose words breathed their true names into their hearts.  Prior to such happenings, the One-Bloods had contented themselves with the names given them by their Parent-Strangers — and most of them still did. But a few took heed and began seeking their true names once more. It was the only way a soul might be restored to its original state. The saddest thing was to die, remembered for a life carried out in self-delusion.

The Settling of Clans and Their Naming System

In the western portion of the land beyond the Marble Mountains, three One-Blood clans had settled. These clans named themselves after the hours of the sun: the Daybreaks, the Twilights and the Noondays. Rarely were these clan names used when people lived among their close kinsmen, but it was not unusual to attach the clan name to one’s personal and family name when living as outsiders among other clans or farther abroad. For instance, a man named Elijah Harper living among the Noonday clan might be referred to as “Elijah Harper of Twilight” in order not to confuse him with another “Elijah Harper of Noonday.” However, these were the names they received of their Parent-Strangers, for neither name could reveal these men’s life-essences or expressions of them in action.

The Up-Naming of Certain One-Bloods

To understand the purpose of the Up-Naming, you have to understand the change it brought over people who experienced it. It came about in the form of two names that would arise in their hearts soon after some point of despair let drop their social disguises. The first name always captured something of the essence of their being and the second one expressed something of the manifestation of that essence.

Mostly they kept the revealed name to themselves, but what it did for them was important. Those who felt their lives had been a failure and a wreck suddenly saw the thread of the Up-Naming running through it all. Others who were inclined to go certain directions in life but dared not venture past the expectations of others became clear about their true nature and gained boldness to serve in ways that honored the creation of their being. However, they came about their own Up-Naming, all agreed that one could not simply invent a name and call it good. One could only receive the Name ordained by the Great Majesty after one’s protective disguises were destroyed. And whether anyone else knew the name was unimportant. The fact was and always has been that those who know their true name never find themselves on a path marked for someone else.

Colin Grice, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the first of the One-Bloods to receive his true name was Lemuel Gemcracker of Noonday. He had actually been a farmer by trade, though his family name had originated as as occupation some 600 years earlier. In his fortieth year he was struck, not once, but three times by lightning. The first time it happened, he was just leaving the field after plowing it, and the second time, he was returning home at night after some business in a nearby town. He thought he heard a soft voice in his mind the second time it happened. “Three times,” said the voice. He wasn’t sure he hadn’t dreamed the whole thing, so when it happened the third time, he was knocked backwards to the ground under a lone tree next to a fence. The hair on his head was gone along with his eyebrows.

Marc Antony’s Oration at Caesar’s Funeral, George Edward Robertson b. 1864, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

He lay in bed about a week, and during that time he felt these words rise in his heart: “Justice Orator.” It was as though a strange language that had always been written in his heart had been deciphered, and his entire life made sense after his Up-Naming. He had always loved and sought after justice in every way, and he had also been a very good speaker as well. He was so good at it, that even though he had been a farmer his whole life, people sought him out to defend them in all sorts of situations, legal, professional, and social.  In fact, after that, nearly every topic he spoke on was employed in some way at the service of righting some wrong or seeking some correct way to go about something without doing an injustice to someone else. For though he remained a humble farmer in the eyes of many, some regarded him as a sort of prophet. And even though the good farmer knew that his true name was actually “Justice Orator,” everyone else continued to know him as “Lemuel Gemcracker,” a great and good man.

Windmills; Tate; Thomas Churchyard, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Tom Bagley of Daybreak, though, was perhaps the first to realize that “Tom Bagley” was not actually his real name, but his legal name. He had appeared in court on a mistaken criminal charge (for which he was eventually acquitted), and the judge asked him to state his name. He was stumped at first whether he should say “Tom Bagley” or “Wind Trapper.” He didn’t like to lie, but his real name was certainly not his legal name. He had been by nature a harnesser of wind, though he began his life as a draftsman. He was one of the lucky ones who found his real name early in life, though it had taken him until he reached his thirties to actually use his drafting skills to utilize wind for all sorts of things: windmills, kites, pressure equalization systems, sailing and more.

These are just two of the many instances in which One-Bloods have found the way that they lost through the Up-Naming. I don’t know if you believe this account, but I can only speak for myself. After Tom Bagley told me all these things, I received my own Up-Name after being confined during the national lockdowns. But as many One-Bloods do, I prefer not to reveal it but to hold it close to my heart so that I do not wander off the Path again.

See the video commentary on how I came to write about the One-Bloods.

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